April 14, 2023

By: Emma Donley, Staff Writer

April 12, 2023

Ouachita is home to some beautiful places for students to enjoy the outdoors, but many have noticed some areas of campus where more could be done to show off the beauty of God’s creation.

Ouachita Outdoor Life Association is a new organization on Ouachita’s campus founded in May of 2022 by senior Andrew Tarlton, who now serves as OOLA’s president. Tarlton has been working since 2020 to make his vision for OOLA a reality.

Junior Hannah Haessig is OOLA’s advertising and marketing chair.

 “Our goal is to create more spaces for students to be able to enjoy the outdoors,” Haessig said.

This organization is working on the first steps of an exciting new project, building a new trail down at the ravine. The trail will run all the way from the stairs across the street from Francis Crawford down to the Speer Pavilion. 

“On April 22, we’re going to have a campus-wide service project to get students down to cut back brush in order to see the ravine,” Tarlton said. “We’re going to need a lot of people to do that.” 

Several faculty members are on board with the project. They will be there on the day of the project to use the chainsaws.

April 22 is only the beginning of a long project. The idea is to have a concrete or asphalt trail with lights, trashcans, picnic tables, wifi and more.

Tarlton believes that students should care about the outdoors. “Arkansas is the natural state,” Tarlton said. “They came to a campus where [the outdoors] is one of the big jewels.”

Junior Holly Hatcher, OOLA’s secretary, explains the importance of the club.

“We exist to help campus beautification so that the entire community can enjoy the beautiful campus we have,” Hatcher said.

The four pillars of OOLA are conservation, reverence to God, service and adventure. Each of these four pillars represents a different mission and goal of the club that they are trying to achieve. 

Students who want to be more involved in campus beautification and conservation should consider joining OOLA or helping out at this event on April 22.

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